I’ve been pondering about community lately. According to Abraham Maslow, satisfying the need to belong is a prerequisite to developing self-esteem and confidence, which in turn is a prerequisite for self-actualization – the motive to realize one’s fullest potential. These higher order needs require a social context, which is why belonging supports self-esteem in Maslow’s Pyramid.


The need to belong is driven by evolutionary factors. It is a powerful, fundamental, and extremely pervasive motivation. Belonging helps people in times of trouble. It provides a place to share good and bad news and to avoid loneliness and feeling unloved. It’s the place to get the information and the real interpersonal rewards that build confidence and self-esteem. Belonging’s powerful effect on productivity is well-studied and understood in business and industry forums all over the world.

Turing has a strong blossoming community of students, instructors, teachers assistance, alumni, and mentors. Even though I’m taking this module off, I still visit Turing a couple days a week to get work done and spend some time with the hommiez. I never go with the intention of pairing with anyone but somehow end up pairing anyway, learning a shit ton, and feeling super fortunate to have access to such a cool place. Big shout out to Jeff Casimir for not casting me out into the desert. Since so many people from the Turing community have helped me solve so many different problems, I figured instead of just thanking them I would praise through presentation. So let’s reminisce.

Before Trey Tomlinson, a tall Scandinavian looking dude who just landed a sweet job at CaptainU, came into the picture I wasn’t sure how to use RSpec to test a change to my test database. Here’s an example of how I tested a user successfully registering.

Screenshot 2015-07-31 12.36.00

I was just using the within block and setting an expectation of what should appear on the page, not really checking whether a new user was actually saved to the database. Here’s the Trey effect.

Screenshot 2015-07-31 12.34.39

Orion Osborn recently graduated from Turing and is now working for Invoca, pointed me to a great tutorial on Heroku on how to set-up paperclip with Amazon S3. He also patiently watched in horror/confusion when I showed him the dark side of sending AJAX requests. Turns out when your AJAX is set-up improperly and you’re trying to make any changes to your database from within a pry-session, your pry-session hangs and you can press Control-C all you want but unless you kill all of your Ruby processes (kill -9 ruby) that facker won’t let you out! Alan Smith, Turing grad works at LivingSocial, was fortunate enough to have witnessed this sorcery first hand and suggest killing all Ruby processes.

DJ Greenfield, recent grad with Zeus like hair, actually got the ball rolling on setting up that AJAX request so I’m not sure whether I should hug or kick him. He also helped me pimp out my images with JQuery for this dinner-dashy rails-app I’ve been working on. The basic idea of what I was trying to accomplish: When a user hovers over a category-image, I would like the opacity of the image to cut in half and the category name to appear as a link to that category’s-show-page. Seems simple enough right? F**k No! Along with DJ I had to recruit Justin Holmes (Former Dolphin trainer for the NASA Dolphin In Space Expedition and contestant on The Bachelor) for this delicate affair. I think we all learned more about JQuery and CSS inheritance in those couple hours than in the past few months! Everything works except the text(category-name-link) is inheriting its opacity from the image making the image and text fade upon hovering….. Brutal if you ask me, but I’ll move some divs around later on tonight and get it working. Once what’s in the computer behaves the way I want it to, I’ll write an educational blog post.

Even though Sally MacNicholas has to manage 2 kids, she still has the tenacity to produce the best API curious I’ve seen this module. She basically consumed Instagram’s API and reproduced the user dashboard page, it looks better than it looks on the real Instagram! She also took some headshots and cool pictures of Rob, Vanee, and I. I still haven’t received them, a-hem a-hem, but I have faith in Sally.

Robert Cornell, student at Turing, father of 2 teens, recently re-married, and co-founder of a tech-start-up is my friend and Turing lunch buddy. Tough to believe how he even has the time to do anything! Rob laid the guilt trip on real thick when he found out I was taking this module off! He’s since calmed down, maybe because I show up and have lunch with him from time to time. Maybe because he spent all of last week hyping up going out on Saturday and backed out 5-hours before game-time.

Regis is the new kid on the block who’s quickly made it to my list of top-five people at Turing I would do acid with. I feel like I become a smarter bohemian every time I speak to him. Our most recent conversation started with Node.js being single threaded, led to people resembling virtual machines, and ended with everything just being a box within yet another box.

Drew Reynolds is the go to for creative sass on the web, start-up knowledge, and a sick new techno/trance mix to pump out code to. When he posted a link to p5.js last week my mind was blown yet again. I’m totally into front-endy stuff and that library is just a treasure.

That rails app I was working on, I set it up in a way that forces an Admin to either add a new item to an existing category or create a new category for that item all from one form. In this form I had a dropdown menu that contained all of the existing categories and a “New Category” place holder. So I said to myself, wouldn’t it be sweet if you could click on “New Category” and have an input field magically appear? heck yeah it would. So Patrick Medaugh, myself and JavaScript’s bastard child JQuery went to work. An hour later, we made magic happen.

Screenshot 2015-07-31 21.40.42  Screenshot 2015-07-31 21.35.53

I started using Sketch a few weeks ago and I must say it’s pretty awesome. If you’re into graphical design UX/UI stuff I would highly recommend you check it out. I was struggling to figure out how to wrap text around curved lines or shapes. There’s not too many designers a part of the Turing community. Thankfully Cara Jo, a denver based web-designer happened to join the Turing community. I messaged her asking if she used Sketch and how I could get this darn text to hug stuff! Short story shorter, she helped me get it to work and I produced this masterpiece.


Incredible isn’t is? So that’s a very brief case study of my past few weeks within the Turing community! If you’re not currently a part of a community Maslow thinks you should probably find one.

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